Idle hands and duck ragu

According to Bunnings commercials, long weekends are the perfect time to get things done around the house. I wholeheartedly agree, if by ‘get things done’, you mean ‘take a nap every day, eat cupcakes and watch a whole season of Grey’s Anatomy’. That’s how these things work, right?

With a very busy week under my belt and a flu-ravaged boyfriend, a quiet weekend was in order. Except it turns out, there’s only so much nothing you can do. After two solid days of couch time and the relentless screams of whoever it was Blair was killing in Battlefield 4, I went a little stir-crazy. Kitchen therapy was the only way to go – obviously – and I wanted something worthy. I wanted something special. 

The deal was sealed having never cooked with duck, and knowing the result was going to be rich and comforting. Fear not, the recipe is still easy, you’re just slow cooking meat. There’s no real technique required (oh god, I have to stop watching MasterChef); and if cutting up a duck is out of your range, use one duck breast per person, which is totally what I did. Because, who has two thumbs up and didn’t know that you can’t just buy a whole duck on a public holiday Monday? This chick.

What are you loving now that the winter weather has kicked in? Do you have a favourite recipe for when you’ve got some time up your sleeve?

Duck Ragu

From Taste Magazine

1.8kg duck
100g diced pancetta, coarsely chopped
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 dried bay leaves
250ml pinot noir
2x 400g diced tomatoes
250ml chicken stock
3 rosemary sprigs
1/4 tsp Chinese five spice powder
110g pitted green olives, chopped
Cooked pappardelle pasta, to serve
Shredded parmesan, to serve

 

Using a pair of kitchen scissors, cut along both sides of the duck’s backbone, and discard. Quarter the duck, and season with salt. In a flame and oven proof dish, cook the duck in batches, skin side down over high heat until golden, around five minutes. Turn and cook for a further 2 minutes, then transfer to a place.

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Heat the oven to 130*C. Cook the pancetta, onion, garlic, carrot, celery and bay leaves for 8 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally.

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Add the wine and stir, scraping and brown bits from the bottom.  Add the duck, tomato, stock, rosemary and Chinese five spice. Cover, place in the oven and bake for 2 – 3 hours or until the duck is tender.

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Once cooked, remove the duck and set aside on a plate. Simmer the liquid over medium heat for 20 minutes or until thickened and reduced by a third. Carefully remove and discard the duck bones. Shred the meat and return to the sauce with the olives. Season to taste. Serve with pasta and parmesan.

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6 thoughts on “Idle hands and duck ragu

  1. I usually only get one day off at a time. On the rare occasion where I actually get three off in a row, I come down with a serious case of cabin fever. There’s not even enough episodes of The Walking Dead to help. This duck ragu seems like the perfect fix! 🙂

  2. Tis the season for the sickness. Our house has been similarly stuck by the vicious man flu where moans and groans replace all sensical conversation. (Although some may have been due to the alcohol consumption at Jacquie’s!) Soft slow cooked heaven is just what we needed on Sunday!

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